The NCAA has selected 10 extraordinary student-athletes who will be honored in January as the Today’s Top 10 Award winners.
The NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award recognizes student-athletes for their successes on the fields and courts, in the classroom and in the community. The award recipients completed their athletics eligibility during the 2012-13 academic year and will be recognized at the Honors Celebration during the NCAA Convention in San Diego, Calif.
The NCAA Honors Committee selects the honorees and is comprised of athletics administrators at member schools and conferences, as well as nationally distinguished former student-athletes.
Previously, the award recognized eight student-athletes and was known as Today’s Top VIII. The NCAA Honors Committee expanded the award in 2013 to include 10 honorees in order to recognize the increased number of student-athletes, sports and championship opportunities.
The 2014 Today’s Top 10 awardees are:
School: University of Arizona
Major: Theater Arts
Sport: Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Brigetta Barrett was a six-time NCAA track and field national champion, both indoor and outdoor. She was a 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist for the high jump, making her the first collegiate female in track and field to medal at the Olympics since 1984. Barrett was a seven-time All-American competing in indoor and outdoor track and field. She is the collegiate record-holder for women’s high jump and was the 2013 United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Field Athlete of the Year. Barrett was a two-time Capital One Academic All-America team member and the 2013 University of Arizona Ruby Award winner for excellence in academics, athletics and personal development. She was an active member on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the president during the 2012-13 school year. Barrett participated in the Students on Stage program and sang the national anthem at the NCAA track and field championships and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
School: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Major: Communication Studies
Four-year starter and two-time captain of the women’s soccer team, Amber Brooks graduated from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in August 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. In 2012, the two-time national champion (2009 and 2012) was named to the NCAA all-tournament team. She was selected by Top Drawer Soccer as the 2012 National Player of the Year and was a finalist for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. She was a member of the 2009 and 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference championship teams at UNC. Brooks was a Capital One All-American in 2011 and 2012, a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection (2009, 2011 and 2012) and ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2012. She also captains the United States U23 national women’s soccer team and was named Most Valuable Player of the Four Nations Tournament in Spain. UNC will honor her later this year by retiring her soccer jersey number (22).
School: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Major: Political Science
Three-time Capital One All-American and 2013 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist Raven Chavanne will graduate from University of Tennessee, Knoxville in December 2013. She helped carry Tennessee to three NCAA Women’s College World Series appearances (2010, 2012 and 2013), and was a member of the national runner-up team in 2013. She is a four-time NFCA All-American and four-time All-SEC honoree. A Top 3 Finalist in 2013 for USA Softball Player of the Year, she also engaged in various community service projects, from movie nights for local kids to participating in Race for the Cure and providing holiday dinners to the less fortunate in her community. She finished her career at Tennessee as the school’s all-time leader in batting average, runs, on-base percentage and stolen bases. Chavanne also received the 2013 University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Scholarship and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. As a member of the 2013 USA Softball Women’s National team, she earned a silver in the World Cup of Softball, bronze in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, and was a member of the 2010 USA Softball Women’s Future National team.
Elena Delle Donne
School: University of Delaware
Major: Human Services
Sport: Basketball and Volleyball
Three-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year Elena Delle Donne dominated as a member of Delaware’s basketball team. Delle Donne led her basketball team to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history and to its first NCAA tournament win. The Chicago Sky’s No. 2 pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft established 45 single-game, season and career school records. In 2011, Delle Donne was the leading scorer for USA Basketball in the World University Games and that team went on to earn a Gold Medal. She is the CAA’s all-time leader in points, field goals, free throws and blocked shots. Delle Donne also played volleyball at Delaware, and was selected to the 2008-09 CAA All-Rookie team in volleyball and helped her team that year to the conference championship. Delle Donne shined on and off the court. She was a two-time Capital One Women’s Basketball Academic All-American of the Year and the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. She also boasts a 3.62 GPA and made the dean’s list every semester.
School: Concordia University, St. Paul
Major: Biology, Math
Ellie Duffy was an NCAA Division II women’s volleyball national champion at Concordia University, St. Paul in all four years of eligibility. She was also a four-year member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a two-year women’s volleyball captain. Duffy was named to the dean’s List every semester and was a four-time Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All-Academic. In 2013 she received the Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award, an award given to the top female scholar-athlete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Duffy is applying the $7,500 scholarship toward a master’s degree in biostatistics at the University of Minnesota. She also earned Capital One Academic All-America first team honors as a senior and was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team and was an American Volleyball Coaches Association second-team All-America selection in 2012. Duffy was Concordia University’s choice for 2012-13 Female Athlete of the Year. Her dedication to help her community led to her participation in more than 15 service projects, including a 10-day mission trip to Guatemala. Other service included Tri-Pi Math Club, Concordia University Science Club, Feed My Starving Children, Gillette Children’s Hospital and Immaculate Conception Elementary School.
School: University of Alabama
Barrett Jones has been the epitome of success both on and off the field. Jones earned his undergraduate degree in accounting at Alabama in just three years and was the 2012 William V. Campbell Award winner. A starter at three different positions, he helped Alabama become a three-time BCS National Football Championship winner during his tenure. Jones is a three-time All-American while playing a different position each year and was the 2011 SEC Lineman of the Year. In 2012 he was the captain of the 2012 BCS National Championship Team and earned the Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award. The 2011 University of Alabama President’s Award winner boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA and was the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Jones’ involvement in the community includes taking mission trips to Nicaragua and Haiti, mentoring at-risk students and serving as a graduate school spokesperson. He now plays for the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.
School: University of North Dakota
Major: Physical Education, Exercise Science and Wellness
Sport: Ice Hockey
Jocelyne Lamoureux is no stranger to the Top 10. In the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver she scored a goal that made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. Lamoureux represented the USA four times at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, earning three gold medals and one silver medal. The two-time All-American led North Dakota to its first two NCAA postseason appearances in women’s ice hockey history and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player in each of her three years at North Dakota. During her junior year she led the nation in points, and as a senior she finished third. Lamoureux received a 2013 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship to continue her graduate studies, and in 2013 she was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I Women’s At-Large Team. The three-time recipient of the UND’s Hal & Kathleen Gershman Impact Scholarship is active in her community. Lamoureux has been a Special Olympics and local elementary school volunteer, and she participated in fundraising events through Relay for Life and Team Hope Walk and 5K.
School: University of Wisconsin, Stout
Major: Business Administration
Sport: Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
Tim Nelson is a seven-time United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American. In 2012, Nelson was the NCAA Division III men’s cross country individual champion and USTFCCCA Division III Men’s Athlete of the Year for both outdoor track and field and cross country. Nelson holds Wisconsin-Stout school records in the indoor track and field 3,000 and 5,000 meters, and outdoor track and field 5,000 and 10,000 meters. He was named Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Athlete of the year in 2011 and 2013 and won five WIAC championships. Nelson is a two-time Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for men’s track and field and cross country. Nelson was recognized as the USTFCCCA Division III Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in cross country in 2012-13 and received the WIAC Scholar Athlete of the Year award in outdoor track in spring 2012. He is an eight-time recipient of the UW-Stout Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence and a four-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll. Nelson received the Wisconsin-Stout Outstanding Student Leadership Award and was a recipient of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Award, an award given to student leaders in the ROTC program.
School: Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Major: Speech Pathology and Audiology
Sport: Swimming and Diving
Kayla Shull was a backstroke and freestyle swimmer at Clarion University of Pennsylvania for four years. She was a career 15-time NCAA Division II All-American. Shull earned six All-America honors in 2011; was named 2010 PSAC Freshman of the Year; and was a five-time All-American in 2010. She won the 100 backstroke at the Pennsylvania State Athletics Conference (PSAC) Championships in each of her four seasons and was an eight-time overall PSAC champion. Shull finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is a two-time PSAC Champion Scholar Award recipient, three-time PSAC Winter Academic Top 10 Award recipient, four-time Clarion University Scholar-Athlete and was named 2013 Capital One First-team Academic All-American. She was involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2010-13 and gave lessons to children in the community as a swimming instructor. Shull combined her passion for swimming and serving by creating and organizing two swim meets to raise funds for the local cancer center and provided swimming lessons to special needs children through Special Olympics.
School: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Major: Business Administration
Two-time Big Ten Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Year Mary Weatherholt graduated from Nebraska as the first student-athlete in the school’s history to win a combined 200 matches in singles and doubles. Weatherholt leads her school in career combined wins, career singles wins, career singles winning percentage, season combined victories, season singles winning percentage and season singles victories. She was twice named First-Team All-Big 10 and was the NCAA singles runner-up in 2013. Weatherholt is an NCAA/ITA First-Team All-American for singles and doubles. The Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor award is indicative of her dedication to academics. She earned the ITA Scholar-Athlete Award and was a four-time Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award winner. Weatherholt was First-Team Academic All-Big Ten in 2012 and a two-time member of the Academic All-Big Ten. As a leader on and off the court, Weatherholt received the 2013 ITA National Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award.